I bought this toaster for our office as we often work early in the morning so it is used often for our morning toast. As I run the tea fund it is up to me to decide what to buy and as our old toaster was smelling a bit dodgy I picked this toaster up from a small electrical store near to where I work which was on offer for £15 which I thought was a very good price. I know this model is a few years old but at the end of the day I wasn't after the latest all singing all dancing model for the office, just one that we could use on a daily basis and was reliable.
It has two slots which are wide enough for thick bread, crumpets and also teacakes which are a favourite of mine. There is a high lift feature which lifts whatever you are toasting up very high so you never have to put your fingers anywhere near to the actual toaster which is always a bonus. It works equally well with any thickness of bread as the grip changes to whatever you put in there and it always toasts evenly.
It is stainless steel and looks very neat and stylish and measures 19cm tall, 30cm wide and18.5cm deep. It has a control panel at the side of the toaster which includes the settings which range from 1 to 6 displayed in digital form, so everyone should be able to get their perfect shade of toast. Personally I will set it to 3 or 4 for toast and 2 for teacakes as I like them very lightly toasted. One of my colleague at work likes her toast very dark so will set it to 5 or 6 and finds this perfect for her. The only thing is with lots of people using different settings you need to check before you use it as you could be disappointed if you forget and then don't watch the toaster closely.
There is also a defrost button for those times when you forget to take your bread out of the freezer and a reheat button which I find that I often use at work as obviously I still have to answer the phone and other queries. I find that this crisps the toast up if it has gone a bit soggy if it has been left for a while before buttering it. It has a large removable crumb tray which is easily slid out from underneath and which I find needs empting every few weeks. It also has a cancel button if you change your mind when you have started toasting and it has a non slip base for extra safety.
As it is stainless steel it does attract finger marks but it is easy to wipe over and we always keep a tub of wipes in the kitchen area so one of us will wipe it over regularly so it always looks shiny and clean. It came with an instruction booklet and a twelve month guarantee and is a reliable and stylish looking toaster which you can pick up online from Amazon and other online sites for around £20. It is a great two slice toaster and has been very reliable and it always toasts bread very evenly and thoroughly. A highly recommended toaster which won't break the bank.
My parents toaster recently gave up the ghost and for a few weeks we all went through the process of grilling our toast. This took significantly longer than it would do in the toaster and as every second is precious in the morning when you're getting ready for school or work my mum quickly decided to invest in another one. She spotted the Breville VTT212 in Argos for the reasonable price of £19.99 and picked it up on her next visit to the local shopping centre.
The Breville VTT212 is described as polished stainless steel toaster, although the body consists of a central stainless steel part surrounded by black plastic. It looks sleek and well made and the polished stainless steel makes it look quite classy. The toaster would, in my opinion, blend in well in any kitchen, regardless of décor. It is fairly compact, coming in at around 15cm in width and 10 cm in height. The cord is of a decent length so you don't have to place this right next to the socket to use it. There is storage for the cord at the base of the toaster.
There is room for two slices of toast at a time. The slots are quite wide and can accommodate slices of different widths, which is useful. However, I have found that some slices of bread, particularly the Warburtons brand that I have been using recently, tends to stick out at the top as the slot is not quite high enough. This annoyingly leaves part of the bread untoasted.
On the side of the toaster there is a dial with 6 toast settings, which allows you to control the temperature depending on how brown you like your toast. Despite using this toaster for a couple of months now I have not yet got the hang of this! I like my toast to be medium brown. Trying a setting of 2 leaves my toast not quite brown enough but anything higher than this results in my toast starting to burn slightly! I usually end up for the higher setting and scrape off the slightly burnt bits or toasting my bread twice at a low setting! To be honest I have had this problem with many toasters that I have used in the past, whether they are at the top of the range or a budget buy.
There is also a cancel button should you need to get your toast out in a hurry! Beneath the cancel button there is a "reheat" button, which I have found useful to reheat bread that has already been toasted. It does this well without burning or drying out the toast. There is also a "frozen" button which lengthens the toasting cycle, allowing you to defrost your bread from frozen. I've never frozen bread so have not tried out this function. The buttons are illuminated in blue when they are in use and in my opinion look quite cool when lit up.
The toaster is supposedly a cool wall one which means that it should be safe to touch when toasting. I have found that this works well for the sides of the toaster but over the weekend I accidentally hit my hand over the top of the toaster and was surprised to find the metal bit next to the slots to be really quite hot.
There is also a removable crumb tray, which I find to be really handy, especially after one of the toasters I previously owned had to be shaken upside down over the sink, which did get a bit messy! The toaster is also very easy to clean and can simply be wiped with a damp cloth. I have found though that after just a couple of months use the polished stainless steel bit is unfortunately looking a little shabby and more like brushed steel than polished. It tends to pick up marks like fingerprints quite easily which again can simply be wiped off with a damp cloth.
Although my review has covered quite a few negative points I find this to be a decent toaster and I have encountered some of the problems highlighted with other toasters I have previously used. For the price my mum paid I think this is a reasonable buy and would quite happily recommend it.
Short name: Breville VTT212